- Aug 2022
While Heyde outlines using keywords/subject headings and dates on the bottom of cards with multiple copies using carbon paper, we're left with the question of where Luhmann pulled his particular non-topical ordering as well as his numbering scheme.
While it's highly likely that Luhmann would have been familiar with the German practice of Aktenzeichen ("file numbers") and may have gotten some interesting ideas about organization from the closing sections of the "Die Kartei" section 1.2 of the book, which discusses library organization and the Dewey Decimal system, we're still left with the bigger question of organization.
It's obvious that Luhmann didn't follow the heavy use of subject headings nor the advice about multiple copies of cards in various portions of an alphabetical index.
While the Dewey Decimal System set up described is indicative of some of the numbering practices, it doesn't get us the entirety of his numbering system and practice.
One need only take a look at the Inhalt (table of contents) of Heyde's book! The outline portion of the contents displays a very traditional branching tree structure of ideas. Further, the outline is very specifically and similarly numbered to that of Luhmann's zettelkasten. This structure and numbering system is highly suggestive of branching ideas where each branch builds on the ideas immediately above it or on the ideas at the next section above that level.
Just as one can add an infinite number of books into the Dewey Decimal system in a way that similar ideas are relatively close together to provide serendipity for both search and idea development, one can continue adding ideas to this branching structure so they're near their colleagues.
Thus it's highly possible that the confluence of descriptions with the book and the outline of the table of contents itself suggested a better method of note keeping to Luhmann. Doing this solves the issue of needing to create multiple copies of note cards as well as trying to find cards in various places throughout the overall collection, not to mention slimming down the collection immensely. Searching for and finding a place to put new cards ensures not only that one places one's ideas into a growing logical structure, but it also ensures that one doesn't duplicate information that may already exist within one's over-arching outline. From an indexing perspective, it also solves the problem of cross referencing information along the axes of the source author, source title, and a large variety of potential subject headings.
And of course if we add even a soupcon of domain expertise in systems theory to the mix...
While thinking about Aktenzeichen, keep in mind that it was used in German public administration since at least 1934, only a few years following Heyde's first edition, but would have been more heavily used by the late 1940's when Luhmann would have begun his law studies.
When thinking about taking notes for creating output, one can follow one thought with another logically both within one's card index not only to write an actual paper, but the collection and development happens the same way one is filling in an invisible outline which builds itself over time.
Linking different ideas to other ideas separate from one chain of thought also provides the ability to create multiple of these invisible, but organically growing outlines.
Through my long immersion as a student-practitioner in the Tibetan Buddhist knowledge system I am familiar with this process of secrecy and deeper meaning. Unlike the Indigenous Knowledge system, Tibetan Buddhism has a rich textual tradition. But it has also kept alive a strong oral tradition, of knowledge passed by a Buddhist master who is recognised as having not only learning but also spiritual realisation, to his/her student. The teachers talk of the outer, inner and secret meaning, and in terms of the provisional versus the absolute meaning gained through realisation.
- Jul 2022
Because I wanted to make use of a unified version of the overall universe of knowledge as a structural framework, I ended up using the Outline of Knowledge (OoK) in the Propædia volume that was part of Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition, first published 1974, the final version of which (2010) is archived at -- where else? -- the Internet Archive.
The Outline of Knowledge appears in the Propædia volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It is similar to various olther classification systems like the Dewey Decimal system or the Universal Decimal Classification.
- personal knowledge management
- library science
- Outline of Knowledge
- Universal Decimal Classification
- Dewey Decimal System
- Dec 2021
Sloman, S. A. (2021). How Do We Believe? Topics in Cognitive Science, 0(2021), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12580
- cognitive science
- dual system of thinking
- representational language
- pattern recognition
- unfamiliar circumstance
- representational scheme
- information processing
- human thought
- sophisticated associative model
- causal reasoning
- Jun 2020
Evans, M. C., & Cvitanovic, C. (2018). An introduction to achieving policy impact for early career researchers. Palgrave Communications, 4(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-018-0144-2
- Apr 2020
Hahn, U., Lagnado, D., Lewandowsky, S., & Chater, N. (2020). Crisis knowledge management: Reconfiguring the behavioural science community for rapid responding in the Covid-19 crisis [Preprint]. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/hsxdk
- Feb 2020